Teenager Claressa Shields wins USA's only boxing gold

Teenager Claressa Shields restored some pride to American boxing on Thursday when she beat Russia's Nadezda Torlopova 19-12 in the women's Olympic middleweight final.

Having lost Wednesday's semi-final bouts, Marina Volnova of Kazakhstan and and China's Li Jinzi were both awarded bronze medals as women's boxing made its Olympic debut in London.

At 17 years and 145 days, Shields is the youngest boxer to win an Olympic gold medal since compatriot John Fields won the featherweight title at the 1924 Games in Paris as a 16-year-old.

None of the US men's boxers won a medal in London, their worst ever Olympics, but female fighters Shields and Marlen Esparza, who won a flyweight bronze, both earned medals in the ring for the Stars and Stripes.

"I came here for gold. I got it, although I was still in shock when they announced the result," said Shields.

"Our team got a bronze and I got a gold. Usually it kicks in the next day, but I'm already excited.

"I want to thank my team who helped me to stay emotionally, physically and spiritually balanced. I'm the first (champion)."

The first round ended two-all as Torlopova, who won silver at the world championships in May, kept the American at bay with several solid shots.

The teenager lifted her work-rate in the second to win the round 7-4, and consolidated her performance to take the third 5-3. And she continued to dominate the Russian in the fourth to take gold.

"I think the silver medal is a success for me," said the 33-year-old Torlopova, who will retire after the Olympics. "Everything was fair because I had a good, strong opponent. Speed overcame experience.

"I am happy to have my family with me as it doesn't matter to them if it's silver or gold."

"After the Olympics I will retire and I will be with my family and do my everyday duties.

"I have been training for six years and it is thanks to my son that I am here. I went with him to a boxing training session for children and I stayed."

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